Monica of the fabulous blog TransGriot sent me a recording of a transman speaking to his family about his transition. Trans people face a lot of rejection socially and from their parents, who are supposed to love them unconditionally. This recording really struck a nerve with me, because this is the first time that I have actually heard a conversation like this.
As a mother I found it astounding. They repeatedly told their son that he was not happy despite his statements to the contrary and asserted that what he is doing is a crime against God and nature. When he told them that he was going to marry a woman that he was love with, they further denied his gender identity and called him a lesbian. Repeatedly they told him that they didn't want a daughter-in law, they wanted a son in law. They complained about a supposed inability to have grand children. In short, they made it all about them, even though this is not their life to live. I suppose this is a common trait amongst those with cisgender privilege, but hearing it so bluntly was truly an assault to the senses and I cannot imagine how painful it was to the man in question.
I chose the title family values destroys family values because in this case it is so true. This is their child that they are actively rejecting because he is different. They are destroying their family because of transphobia and a ridiculous desire to maintain cissupremacy. If family were that important to these people and the conservatives that enact anti LGBT laws, they would find a way to open their hearts and understand that difference does not equal corrupt, or less than. Family values to me means being there for your loved ones no matter the circumstances and supporting their lives to the best of your ability. I honestly don't know how these people sleep at night.
Ayden: I want to go down to Texas sometime soon
Mother: For Halloween (?) or to visit or what?
Ayden: To visit
Mother: Are you gonna come home when you come?
Ayden: I would like to drive down there with Kylie. I'd like you to meet her. I mean, I know you know I've started testosterone already, and I don't want my changes to happen to where the next time you see me I'm not going to look the same and I just want to at least go down there and not have it be a sudden shock or anything... I'd like it to be in stages because I know I've only seen you once in a few years, so... I mean, I'm really trying to have you involved with my life, and I feel like you... you're not, and I know it's nothing I can force you to do, but... I mean, I'd like you to be involved with my life. I'm still the same person, I'm not any different, I'm saving lives right now, and I don't... I'm not a bad person, I don't do drugs, I hardly drink, and when I do it's like wine at home. I don't go out and party or do anything... I'm a good kid! I'm trying to make a difference in the world.
I plan on marrying this woman, and ... you're not going to come to the wedding?
Mother: No. Absolutely not.
Ayden: You wouldn't come support me being happy?
Mother: No, because you're not happy.
Ayden: How am I not happy?
Mother: (indecipherable) I know you're not happy, I don't know what you're searching for, I don't know what you're looking for...
Ayden: I'm not looking for anything! I'm with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I'm very happy! All I want to do is share it with you. You're the one who's not happy, and you're the one who's sittin' here saying all these things to me, but I am very happy. I know you're not happy with it, but I am very happy, and I would love to share how happy I am with you.
Father: Lesbianism is an abomination. If you want to be part of an abomination, that's your choice. You're gonna suffer the consequences for it, friend. And you're not gonna like the outcome.
Ayden: I'm sorry, but I'm very--
Father: You're so happy and everything right now, but it's gonna destroy you. It's gonna literally destroy you.
Ayden: That's-- that's your opinion. And I respect it.
Mother: These are the choices you have made. You knew how we would feel about this. You knew how we would take this. You knew that this was wrong. And this is a choice that you have made. I don't know what... We cannot sell our souls to the devil. We cannot give into this.
Ayden: How are you selling your souls to the devil because you love and accept your child?
Father: You're not being what God made you. You are being the exact opposite of what God made you.
Ayden: What do you mean? I'm still the same person.
Father: No you're not. You're being the exact opposite of what God has for you.
Ayden: What do you mean I'm being opposite?
Father: You're gonna be something that you really aren't. And you never will be.
Mother: (mumbles about all these people getting married) and it breaks my heart that--
Ayden: Hey, I'm getting married!
Mother: (sobbing, indecipherable)
Ayden: I'm sitting here telling you that one day I'm getting married, and you're the one who's not wantin' to be involved with it.
Father: It's a sin
Mother: We don't need a daughter-in-law. We don't want a daughter-in-law. We want a son-in-law, we want grandkids.
Ayden: You can have grandkids. How would you not have grandkids? I can get those for you.
Mother: I want your kids.
Ayden: I'm not gonna have a baby. Mom, you know me, even growing up I never even said I wanted to have a kid, I always said I wanted to adopt a kid.
Mother: You-- just listen to us. You are never going to be a man. I don't care how much (?) you grow, I don't care how much acne you get, you will not have a dick. It will never work, it will never get hard, you will never be able to use it, you will never be a man. I don't care if you don't have boobs, Lindsay, you will never be a man, Lindsay, why don't you understand that? You are a woman, Lindsay, you act like a woman, you look like a woman... You think 'cause you-- you want more hair, or you-you want acne, but you're never gonna be a man, Lindsay. Because you carry a rubber dick? Who can't do that? That doesn't make you a man, Lindsay. I don't understand why. You're beautiful, Lindsay, you're beautiful, you had so much going for you. I don't understand. You'll never ever be a man, I don't care what you do, Lindsay. Your heart is a woman, your body is a woman. Be gay, but why do you have to do all this other-- why?
Ayden: I wanna look how I feel on the inside. And a dick doesn't define that, nor does hair. Growing hair, it doesn't matter to me, I shave like every part of my body anyway, hair doesn't do that either. Acne does not-- I never knew acne made a man, but it doesn't.
Father: I'll never have a son.
Ayden: It's okay, I've already lost my parents.
Father: You know, the laws of men may say that it's all right, but it's not the laws of men that you gonna be judged by. It's gonna be the laws of God. And when you stand before God to be judged, you will be condemned.
Ayden: Then why not let him do the judging and you don't?
Father: Because I'm already telling you that you've already been judged. The Lord judges you, and no one will defend you, because that's what you choose, you choose sin over the rights of God. That's why you will be destroyed.
Ayden: A choice? Do you think I would choose these things in my life because I want my life to be so hard, because I want to be so distant from my family, do you think I CHOSE that? You think I WANT this, you think I wanna be so far apart from y'all?
Mother: You chose it, Lindsay. You can change it. You've chosen this lifestyle for yourself.
Ayden: It is not a choice.
Father: A lesbian
Ayden: I'm not a lesbian, I'm a man, but...
Father: A female is not for another woman.
Father: Who led you to this?
Ayden: Who led me to this? I remember having crushes on my babysitter whenever I went to daycare.
Mother: Like I said, know that we love you, and that you're welcome home anytime. Know that when you need us we'll be here for you.
Ayden: Well, I love you too, and know that whenever you want to let me be a part of your life, I'm here, and I really wanted to come by and say hey or something before the major changes started happening, but I guess not...
Transcript via Starboard Broadside